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District 13

Alder Tag Evers

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Alder Tag Evers

Contact Information

Home Address:

2329 Keyes Av

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Evers’ Blog

COVID-19 Update

May 16, 2020 12:54 PM

Hi Everyone.

What a week.

The WI Supreme Court votes 4-3 to invalidate Gov. Evers Safer At Home order.  Immediately, bars in Wisconsin were packed with customers not wearing masks.  

Wow. Just wow.

In Dane County, as you know, the order was reinstated through May 26. 

Some of you may believe all this is terribly overblown. You're sharing the article by Jeffrey Tucker of the American Institute for Economic Research that Woodstock in 1969 took place during a similarly lethal global pandemic.

Which is simply not the case.  

Yes, there was a global pandemic in 1968-1969, known as the Hong Kong Flu, which resulted in 100,000 deaths in the US over a two-year period, during which there were no lockdowns, no school closures, and no serious impacts to the economy. 

The difference is the 1968 strain had mutated from a 1957 outbreak, so there was partial immunity within the population. 

There is none of that now.  This coronavirus is entirely new, and no one has prior immunity.  Even with the extreme measures that have been imposed, nearly 90,000 Americans have died so far, and we're just a few months into this.

It's estimated that so far about 5% of Americans have been exposed to the virus.  To get to herd immunity, that number would have to go to 70%.  To push for herd immunity prior to a vaccine, scientists estimate would result in over 1 million deaths in the US.

I am not discounting the costs.  I exchanged texts well past midnight last night with a dear friend who is a restaurant owner.  He's pouring his life savings into trying to stay afloat.  He's behind on his rent and his landlord is not giving him a break.  He's currently doing carry-out service and deliveries. As he's planning for a partial re-opening, he has employees who refuse to come back because they're better off with the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits.  

My friend is terrified of losing everything, his entire life's work. 

The impacts to the city's budget are beyond daunting. We are looking at a $30 million shortfall, which will very likely mean painful cuts and furloughs.  The refusal on the part of Senate Republicans and the White House to address the economic costs imposed on states and cities is immoral and unconscionable.

And more must be done to help small businesses access credit to stay afloat. Banks need to backstop landlords so that they can extend grace to these businesses who are doing their best to survive.

My friend, the restaurateur, is not just looking after his own. He's prepared thousands of meals on his own dime for those who are food insecure in Sun Prairie and Madison, where his restauarants are located.

Meanwhile, he could lose everything if he doesn't get help.

The costs are very real. We do have to reopen the economy, but it has to be done based on science. If we move too quickly, we will pay the price in many more deaths.

That's why it's so troubling to me when I see these folks in bars refusing to wear masks.  That tells me we will continue to see the virus spread.  And as the virus spreads, as we experience hot spots, the economy cannot reopen effectively; instead, we'd go back and forth between lockdown and semi-normal functioning.

Wearing masks along with physical distancing and frequent handwashing are the basics. Virus Suppression 101, if you will.

To those who see this as a loss of freedom, let me suggest our freedom is best used to help out those in need.  

We started the D13 Mask Brigade and so far have been able to deliver hundreds of face coverings to residents on the Triangle.  Every single resident at Bayview and at the CDA Apartments now has a face mask. We're working on doing the same for residents at the Romnes Apartments in Bay Creek.

My heartfelt thanks, my deepest appreciation to those of you who have helped out.

The D13 Neighborhood Alliance kicked off the District 13 Cares outreach initiative. Everyone in the district should have received a post card from me asking if you need help or if you would like to help. It's our own version of a mutual aid network. 

You can read more about the concept of mutual aid networks in the current New Yorker.  I love this quote early on in the piece that underscores the raison d'etre for mutual aid: "Physical connection could kill us, but civic connection is the only way to survive."

The Alliance sees this mutual aid continuing past the pandemic. The fissures revealed by the pandemic, particularly with respect to racial disparities in health care, call on us to reflect on how best to promote the common good. 

We don't know what will happen in the long-term, and its that uncertainty that arouses fear and anxiety. In the short-term, in the here and now, let's continue to look out for each other, taking care of ourselves and each other.

Love is greater than our fear. Let's continue to love one another, one day at a time.

Enjoy the beautiful weather.  Ride your bike to the Arboretum along the closed Arboretum Drive. Rent a boat from Brittingham or Wingra Boats.  Take walks in the fresh air.

This too will pass.  We will get through this together.

Be safe. Be well. Be kind.








Tags: COVID-19

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